More Essex residents than ever are using their legal right to learn if their partner has a violent past, new figures have revealed.

The data reveals the amount of times requests to disclose information about residents under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) were made in Essex.

The DVDS is often called Clare’s Law, which was implemented in March 2014. 

It provides procedures for disclosing information which will enable a partner to make informed choices about whether and how to take forward a relationship.

Clare's Law is named after Clare Wood, a woman murdered in England by a former partner, who was known to police.

How does Clare's Law work?

There is a Right to Know process and a Right to Ask process.

Right to Know is a process which is triggered when Police receive information or intelligence about the safety of a person and where after appropriate checks are made, the force decides that a disclosure should be made to safeguard that person.

Essex Police considers every Domestic Abuse incident for whether a Clare’s Law disclosure could be applicable and whether a Right to Know application should be made.

Right to Ask is a process, where an applicant, a member of the public, can make a direct application to the Police for information about the subject.

What is the picture in Essex? 

More Right to Ask applications were made under Clare's Law between January and September 2020 than any year previously.

In this nine month period 422 applications were made by members of the public. 

In 2019 this number was 328 and back in 2014 was just 100. 

Of those applications submitted last year 28 were accepted. 

The number of Right to Know applications made by Essex Police, however, has dropped.

In the first nine months of last year, there were 32 applications submitted.

The highest this has been since 2014 was in 2016 when 414 were submitted.

Here are the full figures: 

The data is correct as at 12 November 2020 but Essex Police say it may be subject to change.

Monthly Breakdown for 2020

Right to know:

Right to ask

Yearly Breakdown

Right to know

*Data from 2020 is only between January and September 

Right to Ask

*Data from 2020 is only between January and September 

How do I make an application under Clare's Law?

You can do that here

If someone is in immediate danger from domestic abuse you should call 999,